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I got 0.28 ct. diamond by Lazare Kaplan International as my wedding ring from my mother in law. She told me that she paid $8,000 to get this ring. It was almost 24 years ago. She passed away few years ago, so I don't know the true value of this ring. She gave me a certification of diamond quality analysis by the Gemological Institute of America. Discriptions-- Stone number: xxxxx Shape: round brilliant / Measurement: 4.20x2.60mm/ Cut: Ideally Proportined/ Carat weight: 0.28ct/ Clarity grade: VVS 1/Color grade (daylight) J/ Subsidiary:Ponce Diamond Works. -- singed by xxxxx as Diamond Grader and also singed by xxxxx as Authorized Officer -- I don't know there are enough informations or not to get your opinions, but if you give me any informations, I really appriciate. Thank you.

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Hi Martha57,


What you have there is a little piece of history. Lazare Kaplan was one of the first diamond companies to introduce the concept of "ideal cut" diamonds to the US. Back in the '70s and early '80s what was called "ideal" is not what we currently refer to as "ideal". Technologies have evolved as have our standards.


To get an idea of what an ideal cut 0.28 ct J-VVS1 currently cost, you can do a search on this forum. But you will see right away that the prices are nowhere near the $8000 you mother-in-law paid. To understand the discrepancy, you have to go back in time to the late '70s and early '80s when the GIA was still young, Rapaport was a character that drove blood pressure to a boiling point and "investment diamonds" were all the craze. Every week, the "list price" of diamonds was going up 2 or 3%. An investor or diamond merchant could purchase a stone, hold onto it for a few weeks, sell it back into the market, and make a good living. The cost of a 1ct D-IF rose to $65,000 per carat on the wholesale end, and consumers could not buy from wholesalers yet. In those days a small retail mark-up was 100%. If I have guessed right, your mother-in-law purchased her stone during these times.


In 1981 the bubble burst. The list price of a 1ct D-IF (we use this as a benchmark reference) fell from $65,000 to $8,000 per carat. Inventories were drastically devalued. Many historical diamond companies went out of business. Most investors, who had accumulated diamonds in their safe deposit vaults over the previous few years, lost their entire investment. The diamond world changed.


The effects are still seen today: We were recently asked to appraise a vault-full of diamonds with GIA reports from 1979 to 1981. Our current value estimation, in today's dollars, came in at about 36% of the cost.


This history probably doesn't help you in your current situation, but at least you may gain an understanding of where your stone came from.


Kind regards,

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‘True Value’ is a difficult concept to nail down. Can I presume by this you mean what is a reasonable price to expect a dealer to pay you for it?


As George points out in his history lesson, 1981 was pretty much the worst time ever to be buying a diamond.


The search utility on the site will give you a reasonable idea what to expect for a similar stone if someone were to buy it from a dealer. The dealers, of course, are interested in buying for less than that an making a profit at it. It’s hard to sell diamonds and get full price and the dealers offer all kinds of incentives to get customers to buy from them instead of buying from their competitors (you). In the end, the big advantage you have is that you can take a lower price. Expect the dealers to offer about half of what you find in the database although you may be able to get a bit of a premium for the Lazare brand name.


You can access the database throught the button at the top of the page called 'find an online jeweler'.


Neil Beaty


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